Research talks and workshops Suliman S. Olayan School of Business

Visiting Professor's Research talks and workshops:

  • Name: Tarek Abdallah
    Event type: Lunch series
    Title: Bundle Selling Strategies: Design, Analysis and Practical Insights

    Abstract: Bundling is a pervasive selling practice across various industries. Many multi-product firms engage in selling bundles with the intent of extracting a large consumer surplus. In this talk, we discuss two commonly used bundling strategies (1) pure bundling (PB) where the firm bundles all of its products into a single package and (2) bundle size pricing (BSP) where the firm prices the size of the bundle regardless of which items are included in it. We briefly discuss the limitations of a pure bundling strategy and focus mainly on the design and analysis of the BSP strategy. In BSP, the firm offers the customer a menu of different sizes and prices. The customer then chooses the size that maximizes his surplus and customizes his bundle given his chosen size. While BSP is commonly used across several industries, little is known about the optimal BSP policy in terms of sizes and prices along with the theoretical properties of its profit. In this talk, we provide a simple and tractable theoretical framework to analyze the large-scale BSP problem where a multi-product firm is selling a large number of products. The BSP problem is in general hard as it involves optimizing over order statistics, however we show that for large numbers of products, the BSP problem transforms from a hard multi-dimensional problem to a simple multi-unit pricing problem with concave and increasing utilities. Our framework allows us to identify the main source of inefficiency of BSP that is the heterogeneity of marginal costs across products. For this reason, we propose two new BSP policies called “clustered BSP” and “assorted BSP” that significantly reduce the inefficiency of regular BSP. We then utilize our framework to study richer models of BSP such as when customers have budgets and when there exist multiple customer types.

  • Name: Susan Marlow
    Event type: Research Talk
    Title: Digital Enterprise – A great leveler or just the same old story?                                                     

    Abstract: Research Talk: Since the 1980s, entrepreneurial activity has popularly been hailed as a global agentic solution to many contemporary socioeconomic challenges. Recently the development and deployment of information and computing technologies (ICTs) has been increasingly influential in fulling entrepreneurial possibility through the expansion of on-line or digital ventures which, it is argued, require few resources to create or operate. Accordingly, within public discourse and policy initiatives, it has been suggested that this combination of ICT and entrepreneurship offers a route out of under- and unemployment for the socially disadvantaged and so, greater socioeconomic participation which in turn, contributes to wider economic. Currently, there is sparse evidence regarding the participation of marginalized people in entrepreneurial activity per se and even less pertaining to digital entrepreneurship but that which does exist suggests their engagement with online trading is expanding rapidly. Despite the growing importance of digital entrepreneurship, and related claims regarding participation opportunities, there is a relatively limited critique of such possibilities. Within this seminar, we develop a critical analysis exploring the realities of the digital entrepreneurship phenomenon in the contemporary era for marginalized groups. Using the example of marginalized women subject to disadvantageous gendered ascriptions, it is suggested that the digital space reproduces offline barriers to those seeking to create new ventures online. We consider emerging critiques interrogating the internet as an enabling context when theorizing the relationship between social conditions, entrepreneurship, and contemporary digital technologies.

  • Name: Susan Marlow
    Event type: Workshop
    Title: Developing your publication strategy and academic writing skills

    Abstract: The publication process can be immensely rewarding and also traumatic and dispiriting – but for most of us it is an important aspect of career development. In this seminar, we will consider various publication strategies which fit differing career stages, discuss how to action this strategy with a focus upon journal article publications.     Drawing upon my experience as a journal editor and published author, I can share advice, experiences and strategies to help develop ideas, structure arguments, emphasise contribution and critically, how to express your ideas coherently to develop a conversation with your intended audience.  The session will cover both qualitative and quantitative approaches and discuss submissions to leading UK and US journals within the area of business and management with a focus upon entrepreneurship but the issues raised have relevance beyond this field. In addition, we will discuss and debate how to revise and resubmit papers, how to move on from rejections and tips upon how to refine your research and writing skills and so ultimately, develop a strong publication profile and survive the process!

  • Name: Hani Safadi
    Event type: Research Talk
    Title: Cognitive Augmentation of Human Sensemaking of Large Textual Data

    Abstract: Five decades ago, Herbert Simon identified the challenge of extracting useful patterns from data, rather than storing larger amounts of data. This predicament is much more salient today, particularly for decision makers overloaded by information. The language and cognitive schemas that humans have evolved over thousands of years are now encountering a new kind of environment in which people are increasingly blinded to the limits of thought and action. Overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information associated with complex problems and highly ambiguous circumstances, decision makers face a variety of challenges that at times can seem insurmountable. Knowledge workers in many professions depend on reading and making sense of textual data. Journalists, lawyers and investigative analysts all need to read through many documents, categorize events and concepts, and connect threads of evidence in order to reach conclusions. As the number of documents grows, sensemaking becomes more challenging. One recent example is the Panama Papers leak. Journalists spent three years analyzing 3TB of text before they reached a conclusion about illegal offshoring activities. Today, there are many tools for content analysis and discovery. However, most of these tools are designed for specific information retrieval tasks. We lack the understanding of how these technologies augment human cognition to serve sensemaking. The future of knowledge work will involve technologies that augment human sensemaking of large amounts of text data. The Open Data Innovation Project (ODIN) has two key elements. First, we build a tool that integrates and extends methods for unifying and visualizing text data in the domain problem of legislative law. Then we design and conduct a set of experiments centered on human sensemaking to elicit general principles for human cognitive augmentation. This presentation will focus on the first part. I will overview the theoretical and design principles of the ODIN project. I will then present some applications of ODIN. I am hoping that I can stir some interest in ODIN and that scholars and practitioners will be interested in using it for new applications and in new domains.

  • Name: Fadi Harfoush
    Event type: Workshop
    Title: Business Analytics: The Art, Science, and Business of Big Data

    Abstract: This two days workshop will explore the growing field of business analytics and how academic institutions are adapting. The speaker will share his longtime experience in research labs, private industry, entrepreneurship, and current role in academia on how best to bridge the gap between the traditional academic learning and evolving industry needs. The focus will be on the applied learning and the business opportunities. The workshop will end with selected demos and hands-on lab sessions leveraging some of the main tools in the industry.

  • Name: Yasmeen Makarem
    Event type: Workshop
    Title: Human Resources Development Review: Non-Empirical Research: Tips for Success

    Abstract: The workshop session is designed to provide guidance on how to publish findings from non-empirical research. The term "non-empirical research" is used to refer to any research that is conducted using methods other than quantitative, qualitative, or mixed research methods. Specifically, we will focus on four types of research-literature review, conceptual, critical and theory or model-building research. We will also offer tips on how to develop quality manuscripts that are publishable. Given that each research project involves literature review, it is hoped that this session will stimulate researchers’ interest in disseminating the findings from their non-empirical work through journal publications. The primary purpose of this session is to provide participants with knowledge about and guidance for how to develop quality non-empirical research articles for journal publications. In this session, we will distinguish four types of non-empirical research for the participants (traditional/ integrative/ systematic literature reviews, conceptual work, critical research, and theory or model-building research), examine their characteristics, and highlight the nature of research problems associated with each type. In addition, we will provide criteria for evaluating the four discussed types along with practical tips for preparing high quality manuscripts. With this knowledge, authors will be better positioned to determine what type of research papers to prepare for a quality journal such as HRDR.

  • Name: Amanda Shantz
    Event type: Research Talk
    Title: Human Resources Attributions- Developing a Theoretical Framework

    Abstract: HR Attributions theory explains how individuals respond to HR practices according to their beliefs about their organization's intentions – whether practices are implemented to comply with external regulations, due to an HR philosophy of enhancing commitment, or enforcing control. Despite significant scholarly interest in the theory over the past decade, theoretical and empirical development has been slow. In particular, we know little about attribution formation, which is key for the theory to have utility in our understanding of the causal chain between HR practices and organizational performance. Through this stream of research, we aim to provide some clarity about how HR attributions are formed, drawing on the fundamental principles of attribution theories from social psychology. In the first paper – which involved two pilot studies to aid conceptual development, followed by a two-wave survey of 347 academics in UK higher education institutions – we test an interactive model of different classes of antecedents to HR attributions.We find that individuals’ HR attributions are formed by specific information about the practice (fairness perceptions) interacting with their general beliefs (organizational cynicism) as well as their motivation to make attributions (perceived relevance). In the second study – a multi-level sample of 267 employees from China, nested within 49 work teams and combined with individual performance data – we examine how consensus, both within-teams and between employees and managers, informs attribution formation. In line with HR system strength, another attribution-based theory, we find that individuals attributions are informed by idiosyncratic information about their relationship with their manager (leader-member exchange) more when consensus is low, and furthermore that their attributions are related to performance outcomes. The two studies bring together formerly disparate streams of attribution-based theories, which offers theoretical development to take this field further. I will also discuss some fundamental questions about HR attributions theory which remain unanswered, which will guide our future research.

  • Name: Amanda Shantz
    Event type: Workshop
    Title: Human Relations Workshop

    Abstract: This 3-hour workshop is designed for emerging and more seasoned academics who wish to submit research papers to Human Relations. Participants will learn about the history of the journal, its aims and scope, and the mechanics of the review process. The participants will be provided with an example paper with associated reviews and editorial decision letters to understand how a manuscript is improved and refined through the review process to successful publication. The participant-led approach to this workshop will lead to new insights into the review process at Human Relations. Participants will be required to read pre-work (approximately 2 hours of pre-work). Please make sure to read the Social Scripts of Academic Careers: A Concept Revised document before attending the workshop by clicking on the article's name.

  • Name: Fayez El Hajj
    Event type: Open Discussion
    Portfolio Management: Challenges and Solutions”

    Abstract: N/A